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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: Disney - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 104 minutes
Genre: Teen romance/Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Aimee Teegarden, Thomas McDonell, DeVaughn Nixon, Danielle Campbell, Yin Chang, Nolan Sotillo, Jere Burns, Dean Norris, Faith Ford, Amy Pietz
Directed by: Joe Nussbaum
Written by: Katie Wech
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 30, 2011

"Who are you going with?"

Film Synopsis:

At Prom, every couple has a story and no two are exactly alike. For Nova Prescott (Aimee Teegarden), it's a classic tale of opposites attracting when she finds herself drawn to the guy (Thomas McDonell) who gets in the way of her perfect prom. Share the laughter and the drama as secrets are brought to light, seemingly steady relationships unravel and new romance catches fire. Get ready for this hilariously heartfelt date with destiny featuring a hot ensemble cast of rising young stars and cool bonus features. There are hundreds of nights in high school, but there's only one Prom!

My Take:

Hmmm is what I thought as I read the plot synopsis for Prom. There wasn't anything contained therein that gave me the slightest urge to want to sit through it. Regardless I popped it in my player and attempted to keep an open mind. Prom is a family friendly teen drama with a lightly comedic air sprinkled with a bit of romantic melodrama. The story revolves around a group of high school students, the majority of which are seniors, preparing for prom, the big night that caps off their high school careers. There is Nova, the overachieving class president and prom planner, who is unattached but hoping for the right guy to ask her to prom, Jessie, the long haired, motorcycling, class skipping, rebel with no plans after graduation, Tyler, the smooth talking, double dealing star athlete, and Lloyd, the lovable and shy doofus trying to find a date to prom after spending the last four years avoiding interaction with girls. There are subplots involving best friend sophomore's Lucas and Cory and high school career couple Mei and Justin. Introductions are brief but it is immediately apparent how the narrative will play out. The one exception is Lloyd, who stands apart from the typically derivative caricature and lends a bit of existential humor. Each scenario plays out according to plan while adding enough heart and humor to be appealing in spite of occasionally drifting a bit too far toward corny.

Katie Wech's script is as formulaic and predictable as they come but manages to strike warmly melodic chords that center around these stereotypical characters, most of who turn out to be pretty likeable. I imagine that older teen audiences will find Prom to be boring and cheesy while younger teens/preteen viewers will probably get more out of it. The young cast, full of fresh faces, does just fine in support of their respective roles. The adults in the film are made up of character actors/TV screen veterans from popular series both past and present, most notably, Faith Ford (Murphy Brown), Jere Burns (Something so right), Amy Peitz (Caroline in the city) and my man Dean Norris (currently on Breaking Bad). I can generally tolerate a formulaic, feel good movie as long as the plot stays on point and the characters are appealing. That was the case with Prom as I found it entertaining enough to be a safe bet on family movie night.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for mild language and a brief fight.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 80

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:

Video: 88

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

Prom comes to Blu-ray from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.4 Mbps.

This a solid high definition video presentation that offers excellent resolution that delivers the kind of reach out and touch lucidity that videophiles enjoy. The filmmakers opted for sepia toned filtering that limits the perceived color range which I found to be an odd choice considering the film's theme. Brighter chromatic elements, like yellow and shades of blue, standout against the film's rather bland aesthetic. Fleshtones keep pace with the look of the rest of the film and have a balmy but natural texture. Spot on contrast yields crisp, bright whites and blacks are stable but slightly elevated which leaves them appearing less dynamic but not to a deleterious degree. This is a pristine presentation that showed no obvious signs of video related artifacts or anomalies.

The lossless surround mix features dialogue that is full bodied with defining tonal characteristics and prominent soundstage position. High level detail enhances sound effects, music reproduction and low level minutia mixed into the background. There is little call for active surround activity and extended dynamics however there are occasions where the soundstage open and provides enriching presence and a punchy low end.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) Last chance Lloyd - 10 minute short

  • (HD) Putting on Prom - 6 minute making of featurette

  • (HD) Bloopers - 2 minutes

  • (HD) 4 deleted scenes with introduction by director Joe Nussbaum & producer Justin Springer

  • (HD) Music videos

    1. Allstar Weekend - Not Your Birthday
    2. Neon Trees - Your Surrender
    3. Moon - Time stand
    4. Nolan Sotillo - We Could Be Anything (English version)
    5. Nolan Sotillo - Juntos Lo Haremos Bien (Spanish version)
    6. Those Dancing Days - I'll Be Yours
    7. Girl In A Coma - Come On, Let's Go
    8. Bonus DVD of Prom

Final Thoughts:

Prom is an entirely derivative teen drama that has the look, feel and cast of a TV movie. Be that as it may, I found it entertaining and appreciated its likeable characters, good natured wit and charming romance. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring pristine high definition video, rewarding lossless sound quality and middling bonus supplements that include a brief look behind the scenes, a decent short featuring Nicholas Braun in character, and music videos featuring music from the film. Prom doesn't bring anything new to the genre table but has enough merit to warrant a rental on family movie night.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

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